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Surname Chagas - Meaning and Origin

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Chagas: What does the surname Chagas mean?

The last name "Chagas" is of Portuguese origin. It originates from a religious background, derived from the term “chagas de Cristo,” meaning the “wounds of Christ” in reference to the injuries Jesus Christ suffered during crucifixion. This surname was likely originally used to denote a person of deep Christian faith or someone living near a church or shrine dedicated to the wounds of Christ. In the modern world, the name is shared by many families, especially in Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, and does not necessarily imply a religious affiliation. Furthermore, some bearers may have the surname due to their ancestors' connections with the town of Chagas in Portugal. It's also associated with "Chagas disease", a tropical disease named after Brazilian physician Carlos Chagas.

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Chagas: Where does the name Chagas come from?

The last name Chagas is of Portuguese origin. The term "Chagas" refers to the physical wounds or suffering that Christian Saint Francis of Assisi and Jesus Christ endured, symbolizing a deep level of spirituality in early Christian Portugal. The surname was often given to a person who was born or baptized on the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Today, the surname Chagas is most common in Brazil due to the country's historical ties with Portugal. After Brazil was colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, the Portuguese language, culture, and surnames were widely disseminated among the population. Consequently, the Chagas surname is still frequently found among Brazilian families. It is also found, though less commonly, in Portugal and in other countries with considerable Portuguese influence or diaspora, such as Angola and Mozambique in Africa, or Goa in India. Despite this, Chagas is by no means one of the most common surnames in these countries today.

Variations of the surname Chagas

The surname Chagas is of Portuguese origin and its variations could include Chaga, Chag, Chagar, and Chagass. It is derived from the historical event where São Simão was martyred which led to him being known as "Simaon a Chagas" or "Simon of the wounds". Hence, people named their families after him for respect and honor.

There is another widely used form of the surname - Chagas Dias, which is a blend of Chagas and the very popular Portuguese surname Dias. Sometimes, Chagas can be doubled-up, leading to variants such as Chagas Chagas. There's also a tendency in Portuguese or Spanish-speaking cultures to attach a '-z' at the end of the surname, hence leading to a possibility of ‘Chagaz’.

The surnames can have regional influences, hence in Spain, the surname could also be spelt as Chagas or Chagas Sanz. Some families, particularly in Portugal and Brazil, may also use the surnames ‘de Chagas’ or ‘das Chagas’, similar to the tradition of using ‘de’, ‘da’ or ‘das’ before surnames in these cultures.

Since the name is common in Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, its variants and spelling would depend on regional, cultural, and personal preferences.

Famous people with the name Chagas

  • Carlos Chagas: He was a renowned Brazilian physician, scientist and bacteriologist who discovered Chagas disease.
  • Carlos Chagas Filho: He was a Brazilian physician, biologist and scientist, known for his studies in neurophysiology. He was the son of Carlos Chagas.
  • Emmanuel Bezerra dos Santos Chagas: A Brazilian politician and member of the Communist Party of Brazil, he was a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Paraíba.
  • Marta Chagas: A contemporary Brazilian artist known for her vibrant abstract works.
  • João Carlos Chagas: A Brazilian footballer who played for several clubs in Brazil and Portugal.
  • Darlan Cunha Chagas: A Brazilian actor known for his participation in the film "City of God".
  • Lara de los Reyes Chagas: A Brazilian volleyball player who has represented her country at various international competitions.
  • Clóvis Chagas: A Brazilian economist, professor and author of various books and articles on finance and economics.
  • João Batista de Macedo Chagas: A Portuguese politician, who served his country as a Prime minister during the early 20th century.
  • Paulo Cesar Chagas: A Brazilian basketball player, he competed in the 1960 Summer Olympics.

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